Financial Aid Booklet


The response to your request for financial aid for the 2024-2025 academic year is a result of our evaluation of your family’s financial circumstances. We have used your financial aid application results to determine this estimated award. Those who receive St. Lawrence University controlled aid for 2024-2025 may expect it to continue through their upper-class years as long as demonstrated financial need remains consistent and a satisfactory academic and social record is maintained.

Need-based assistance (including grants, awards, loans and student employment) may be increased or decreased from year to year in order to reflect changes in family income and assets, family size and other resources received. Financial aid is offered on an annual basis and one-half of the amount is credited to the student’s bill each semester. Students must re-apply for aid each year; the Financial Aid Office provides reminder information at the appropriate time. Students must be enrolled full-time for consideration of most federal, state and St. Lawrence University financial aid resources.

St. Lawrence University consumer information is available on the website.

Is there a verification process, or any special documents that I need to submit?


Some student aid recipients receiving need-based or federal financial aid resources must satisfy a U.S. Department of Education and St. Lawrence University requirement to complete the verification process. Estimated awards are subject to revision, pending final verification. In this process, various documents, such as income tax transcripts, are compared to the information on the financial aid application. Verification ensures that need-based funds are appropriately allocated. This process will occur between April and July 2024. Students will be notified if additional verification documentation is required and will be given a deadline to submit the requested information.

It is important to note that, once a financial aid file has been verified and a final award notification has been issued, if the applicant has a subsequent change to a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) question, the original financial aid award is not updated in many situations. The U.S. Department of Education provides clarification as to what FAFSA questions may be updated after verification has occurred. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you would like further details.


Financial aid recipients and their parents may be requested to submit signed copies of their 2022 federal income tax return (including schedules), W2s, and/or a 2022 income tax return transcript to our office. We may also request additional documentation if needed.

I received an outside financial aid award—what do I need to do?

Financial aid is provided to assist in meeting the student’s demonstrated financial need. In some cases, outside awards received by the student may exceed their unmet need. In these situations, we work to reduce self-help aid resources, such as loans or student employment, first and would only reduce the St. Lawrence aid as a last resort. Awards are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Each aid recipient is required to notify the Financial Aid Office if outside or local awards are received and indicate whether they are renewable or one-time awards.

What will it cost to attend this academic year?

The estimated cost of attendance for the 2024-2025 academic year is $84,608.* It is important to note that this includes an estimate for tuition, fees, room,** meal plan, and personal expenses, including books and supplies. In order to assist you with these personal expenses, you may be offered the opportunity to participate in our campus employment program, through which you have the potential to earn the amount indicated in your award notification.

*Final cost of attendance components will be approved at the February St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees meeting.

**Note: The single room rate carries an additional charge. For the 2023-2024 award year, this additional charge was $2,005.


Unlimited Access Meal Plan: This flexible meal plan allows students unlimited access to the main dining location on campus, Dana Dining Center. It includes features to use other campus dining options on a limited weekly basis. The cost of this plan is included in the standard cost of attendance, and in 2023-2024 was $7,605.

What about insurance fees?

All full-time undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in the St. Lawrence University Student Health Insurance Plan. If a student has equivalent comprehensive coverage, a waiver form must be completed and submitted (available in early summer). The cost of this plan was $1,946* for the 2023-2024 academic year.

All undergraduate students are also automatically enrolled in the St. Lawrence Tuition Refund Plan through A.W.G. Dewar, Inc. of Quincy, MA. The plan insures 80% of the term’s tuition and fees due to withdrawal for injury, sickness, and mental/emotional problems. Students are automatically enrolled in the plan and must complete an online waiver form in order to not be billed the annual premium. The plan had an annual premium of $546* for 2023-2024.

*Please note, these are the policy rates for 2023–2024. The new rates for 2024-2025 will be approved in early summer.

When will I receive my tuition bills?

One-half of the annual charge is billed in July for the fall semester, payable August 15, and one-half is billed in December for the spring semester, payable January 15. Bills are available online each semester. The non-refundable admissions enrollment deposit payment will be applied to the student account in the first semester the student attends St. Lawrence.

What payment plan options are available?

The University offers a monthly payment plan, whereby any direct expenses not covered by financial aid may be spread over several months per semester rather than one payment each semester. Information on this will be mailed to you at a later date.

What are merit-based scholarships?

Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, not financial need. The Office of Admissions determines merit scholar status and notification is stated in the admissions decision letter. Students holding the designation of University Scholar, Trustee Scholar, St. Lawrence Promise Scholar, Sesquicentennial Scholar, Momentum Scholar, Environmental Scholar, International Scholar, Canadian Scholar, Kirk Douglas Scholar or Augsbury/North Country Scholar must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to retain the scholarship in subsequent semesters. Please note, students are offered a grace period for their first four semesters before the 3.0 GPA minimum is enforced. Students are provided a notice of their scholar standing after each semester of enrollment. Merit scholarships are credited at a rate of one-half the annual award per semester for a maximum of eight semesters for St. Lawrence programs. Students must also maintain full-time enrollment status for St. Lawrence merit-based scholarships.

What about St. Lawrence grants and awards?

Some financial aid notifications include a need-based St. Lawrence Grant, a Presidential Achievement Award, or a Dean’s Incentive Award.

St. Lawrence University Grant amounts are determined each year based on the results of the FAFSA in conjunction with the cost of attendance. If the results change from year to year, or if your cost of attendance is reduced (e.g., by living off campus), the need-based St. Lawrence Grant is likely to be reduced.

Presidential Achievement and Dean’s Incentive Award amounts are determined at the time of enrollment. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements to receive the award in subsequent years.

The St. Lawrence Grant, Presidential Achievement, and Dean’s Incentive Awards are credited at a rate of one-half the annual award per semester. If you remain eligible, you may continue to receive St. Lawrence financial aid for a maximum of eight semesters.

Which federal and state grants are currently offered?

1. FEDERAL PELL GRANT: Pell Grant estimates are determined by guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education. This federal grant is determined by the results of your FAFSA and does not have to be repaid. If your final award varies significantly from the aid package estimate, St. Lawrence will make every effort to suggest alternative aid sources.

2. FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG): Some packages include funds from the federal SEOG program. These need-based grants range from $100 to $4,000 per year and are designated in the eligible recipient’s award letter. No further application is necessary. Funds will be applied directly to the student’s account, one-half per semester, and do not have to be repaid. SEOG funds are limited and are awarded to the highest need students, as required by federal regulations.

3. TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TAP) (New York State Residents Only): The TAP award estimate is based on the current 2023-2024 formula and is as accurate as the information you provide. The formula for 2024-2025 is subject to change, pending New York State budget approval, and St. Lawrence is not responsible for the final award determination. Please be aware that changes in your filing status during 2022 could potentially affect your award for the 2024-2025 academic year. These changes include parents’ divorce and/or remarriage, student and parents’ state of residence, and other factors. Information you report on the FAFSA is automatically sent to New York Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). You must then complete a NYS Payment Application at for grant eligibility determination. It is important to complete the NYS application process. For more information on TAP, please visit Students must meet the academic progress requirements set by HESC to maintain eligibility. These requirements may be found in the St. Lawrence University Student Handbook.

What educational loan opportunities exist?

Most financial aid packages include an option to borrow funds to meet some of your educational expenses. Student loans are just one option you may choose when financing the cost of your education. Please refer to your financial aid notification to see which type(s) of loan options are included in your aid package. St. Lawrence University expects students and families to fully consider all of their options for financing the cost of an education. We recommend that a student and family first consider their eligibility under federal educational loan programs. These loan options include the Federal Direct Loan, offered through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program, and the Federal PLUS Loan for parents.

If a Federal Direct Loan is a resource which you accept as part of your financial aid package, information outlining the application process for the loan will be sent to you in late spring.


St. Lawrence University participates in the Federal Direct Loan program. The interest rate on a Federal Direct Loan is usually better than on many of the non-federal alternative student loans. The interest rate for Federal Direct Loans for undergraduate students is currently a fixed rate of 5.50 percent for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The rate is subject to legislation decision on July 1, 2024. If you choose to accept a Federal Direct Loan as part of your aid package, an origination fee of 1.057 percent will be deducted from the loan total upon disbursement. Note that these fees are subject to change.

A subsidized Federal Direct Loan is offered based on financial need. You will not be charged interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government “subsidizes” the interest during these periods.

An unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan can be awarded regardless of financial need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be added to the principal amount of your loan.

For students who are offered and accept a Federal Direct Loan as part of their financial aid package, the application process is straightforward. You will be required to fill out a single Master Promissory Note (MPN) for your Federal Direct Loan. During the summer, you will be sent information pertaining to the application process, entrance counseling, Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA), and completion of your MPN. It is your responsibility to review all terms and conditions of the loan, as well as to complete the MPN and entrance counseling. Once the MPN and entrance counseling are received and processed and your loan funds are disbursed, you will be notified within 10 days of the date when the funds were credited to your account. You have 14 days from the date indicated in the letter to cancel all or a portion of your loan.

Federal Direct Loan limits for dependent students are as follows:

Student Loan Limits for Dependent Students


(includes subsidized

and unsubsidized)




First-Year Students $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Junior & Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500

Repayment begins six months after graduation or after you fall below half-time enrollment, with several payment options. Each year, your financial aid notification will notify you of your eligibility for a Federal Direct Loan.

Repayment on both loan types (subsidized and unsubsidized) is deferred while a borrower is enrolled on at least a half-time basis. You may choose to pay interest on an unsubsidized loan while in school. To be considered for a Federal Direct Loan, you must file the FAFSA form and complete the verification process as outlined in this booklet. If your first-year award includes a Federal Direct Loan, you should anticipate that St. Lawrence University will usually offer the maximum allowable Federal Direct Loan each year. As always, it is your option to accept or decline all or part of this loan.

(Note: For more information on loans, see the Glossary of Loan Terms at the bottom of this page.)


The Federal Direct PLUS Loan allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance (less any other financial aid) each year. The current 2023-2024 interest rate is a fixed rate of 8.05 percent. The origination fee for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is 4.228 percent. Monthly re-payment begins within 60 days after the final disbursement for each academic year. The standard repayment period is 10 years, with no penalties for prepayment. Deferment options are available. Upon submission of a completed PLUS application, a credit review will be performed. The parent must also complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).


If a student is still seeking additional loan funding after fully exhausting federal loan eligibility, they may consider borrowing from an “alternative” or private educational loan program. Alternative loans are non-federal loans which are usually in the student’s name, and in most cases require a qualified co-signer. St. Lawrence University encourages parents to first consider the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to cover any outstanding educational expenses prior to considering an alternative loan.

A Parent PLUS Loan may provide better interest rates and more flexible repayment options as well as options for loan cancellation that are not offered by most alternative loan products. However, if a student chooses to borrow through an alternative lender, we encourage the student to thoroughly review each loan product by comparing loan terms, rates, fees, borrower benefits and repayment options. It is important to note that alternative student loan terms and conditions differ from those of federal educational loans and can vary significantly among different alternative loan products.

It is the student’s responsibility to research private alternative lender options. One suggestion would be to do an online search. You have the right and the ability to select the alternative student loan lender of your choice, and you will not be penalized by the University for choosing any particular lender.

My financial aid package includes campus employment. How does that work?

Many financial aid recipients will be offered the opportunity for campus employment. Student employment awards typically range from $1,650 to $2,000 per academic year, with an average time commitment of 6 to 15 hours per week. Employment earnings are paid bi-weekly to the student and are not applied directly to student bills.

Financial aid notifications will indicate either federal or institutional student employment, also referred to as work-study. Although employment is not guaranteed at St. Lawrence, students with federally funded employment included in their aid packages receive first priority in initial department hiring. Students are responsible for seeking out their own campus employment opportunities. Students having difficulty securing a campus job should refer to helpful information on the Campus Employment website.

I saw “Family Contribution” on one of the forms—what does that mean?

The family contribution listed on your financial aid notification is the estimated family cost for the 2024-2025 academic year. This is calculated by subtracting all offered financial aid from the cost of attendance. We say “estimated” because this dollar amount takes into consideration only educational costs which are listed on your financial aid notification (these may include tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies). Discretionary choices may increase your actual annual family contribution.

The family contribution consists of both a student and parent contribution, which are displayed as one amount. The family contribution listed on your St. Lawrence University financial aid notification may differ from the calculated Student Aid Index reported on your 2024-2025 FAFSA and Student Aid Report.

My financial circumstances have changed during the last year. What can I do?

If your family’s financial circumstances change as compared to the information required on the FAFSA, you may contact the Financial Aid Office staff to request a special circumstance review. Because the FAFSA requires the use of income information from the prior 2022 year, there may be situations where these figures are not representative of your current situation. Providing information on these changes allows Financial Aid staff to review the special circumstance information.

How do I remain eligible for financial aid?

Students are required to maintain minimum standards of academic progress to continue eligibility for financial aid resources, including St. Lawrence, federal and state programs. Academic progress is determined by two criteria: the quality of academic achievement as indicated by the cumulative grade point average, and progress toward the degree. More information on Satisfactory Academic Progress can be found in the Student Handbook and on the St. Lawrence website.

How long do I have to complete my St. Lawrence education?

The U.S. Department of Education requires us to publish a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to finish a degree program. At St. Lawrence University, the maximum time frame may not exceed 6 years or 12 semesters. A student is eligible for a maximum of eight semesters of St. Lawrence aid.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

Our Financial Aid team, headed by Executive Director of Financial Aid Tommiann Russell, will be happy to answer any queries.

We welcome you to reach out to any member of our group below with specific questions.

Tommiann Russell, Executive Director of Financial Aid;

Carole Jenne, Associate Director;

Hannah Parker, Assistant Director:

Amy DuBois, Chief Financial Aid Clerk;

Kelly Sweno, Principal Financial Aid Clerk;

Glossary of Loan Terms

Student loans can be a useful tool in funding your education. You should be aware of the responsibilities that borrowing money entails. Below are some fundamental but important terms.

Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA): The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is a feature intended to educate borrowers about the impact of receiving a federal student loan. In this feature, student and parent borrowers can view how much they currently owe in federal loans, see their progress toward their aggregate loan and grant limits (if applicable), receive helpful tips on smart borrowing, and acknowledge that they have reviewed their information.

Default: Default means failure to repay a student loan according to the terms agreed to when you signed a Promissory Note. A defaulted loan may adversely affect your credit rating and you may not be able to receive additional federal financial aid in future enrollment periods.

Deferment: Occurs when a borrower is allowed to postpone repaying the loan. If you have a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest charges during the deferment period. If you have an unsubsidized loan, you are responsible for the interest which accrues during the deferment period. You can still postpone paying the interest charges by capitalizing the interest, which increases the size of the loan. Most federal loan programs allow students to defer their loans while they are in school at least half-time. If you do not qualify for a deferment, you may be able to get a forbearance (see below). You cannot receive a deferment if your loan is in default.

Disbursement: The transfer of loan proceeds from a lender to St. Lawrence University.

Forbearance: During a forbearance, the lender allows the borrower to temporarily postpone repaying the principal, but the interest charges continue to accrue, even on subsidized loans. The borrower must continue paying the interest charges during the forbearance period. Forbearances are granted at the lender’s discretion, usually in cases of extreme financial hardship or other unusual circumstances when the borrower does not qualify for a deferment. You cannot receive a forbearance if your loan is in default.

Grace Period: The period begins the day after a borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time and ends the day before the repayment period begins. For Federal Direct Student Loan borrowers, the grace period is six months.

Interest: The fee charged for use of borrowed money. It is computed as a percentage of the principal for a given period of time.

Lender: A bank, credit union, savings and loan association, or other financial institution, which provides funds to a student or parent for an educational loan.

Master Promissory Note (MPN): A contract the student signs when taking out a Federal Direct Student Loan or Federal PLUS Loan. A student is required to complete only one MPN for subsidized/unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loans because the MPN may be used for future enrollment periods at St. Lawrence University. A parent is required to complete only one MPN for Federal PLUS Loans.

Principal: The face value of the loan, and the amount upon which interest is charged.

Repayment: All educational loans must be repaid. Repayment schedules are pre-determined by your lender. Your credit score will be adversely affected if the repayment schedule is not maintained. The standard repayment terms for Federal Direct Student Loans are 10 years.